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The Fear Of God


garrisonjj
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Never really understood the term "blessed are they who fear the lord." Why should being fearful of something make you blessed. Is the imaginary god just sitting back ready to pounce on me for not fucking fearing him? Oh jeeeeeeeeeeeezus! I am scared! I don't fear something that doesn't fuckin exist.

What kind of leader wants his followers to fear him anyway? Opinions?

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Now that I'm out of the brainwashing, I don't understand it either. Fear has nothing whatsoever to do with pure goodness, good leadership, or love. Human beings who rule by fear are evil -no exceptions. You can't take a word like 'love' and distort the meaning beyond all recognition to suddenly encompass 'fear' and 'torture' when applied to a so-called superior being, and expect anyone to know what the hell you're talking about. Unless they're brainwashed that way from a young age.

 

I'm not a parent but I'm an animal lover and a dog owner. Thinking about my own relationship to the non-human creatures I truly love, helped in part to snap me out of religion. Once I was already in a doubting mode.

 

I didn't create my dogs, but, a close parallel, I have given them as good a life as I can, and comforts they could never have on their own, given that they were born into human society where they simply can't live independently of us. (If they could, they'd be happy just being dogs living their natural doggy ways, I'm sure, and why would I care to begrudge them that??). I also have rules for them to follow, so that they don't inconvenience me too much or hurt anyone else or themselves trying to fit in with people. That's really the only reason they are subject to my 'human' rules.

 

I love it that my dogs love me, are always happy to see me and seek out my affection, and that's very gratifying to me. But, do I DEMAND that they love me? Does the occasional accident in the house or destroyed item or spilled trash can mean they don't love me and I would be justified to banish them from my sight forever? Must I look around for something to kill before I can feel good about them again? Or is my forgiveness for them just natural and always present? And, if I suspected that they didn't love me very much, would I wish for them to be tortured forever? Do I want my dogs to fear me? No, that would break my heart if they feared me. Even if my dogs wanted to run away, because they just didn't love me, or temporarily got interested in something of interest to them besides "me me me," I would hope for nothing but absence of harm for them and would do anything I could to protect them.

 

Also, when my dogs screw up and break a human 'rule,' I have no problem whatsoever recognizing it is not because they are 'evil,' but because they are not human. They have their own wants and needs that conflict with my comforts and conveniences. When I must impose my will over theirs, I realize fully that I am doing it for my own selfish reasons. I also would accept responsibility for the fact that if my dogs did not love me, it probably would be precisely because I hadn't given them anything to bond with, or had in fact done something to them to make them dislike me. Or maybe they're just built that way.

 

I don't need or expect to be WORSHIPPED by my dogs or any non-human creature at all, regardless of what great things I might want to do for them to see them happy. Seeing animals happy makes me happy. I'm not interested in imposing "my will" on lesser creatures just for kicks and giggles.

 

I would expect any God I worshipped to be demonstrably better than myself, not exemplify the worst of what any human could possibly be.

 

The Bible God and its doctrine of "Love Me, Fear Me... or Else" is wholly disqualified from consideration.

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What kind of leader wants his followers to fear him anyway? Opinions?

 

A leader like Hitler. Or Stalin. Or Pol-pot. Or Castro. Or - well, you get the point.

 

I always hated those passages about "fearing" the Lard™. I hate even more the way Xians try to rationalize it by saying "fear" really meant "respect" and so on. How utterly dishonest, and how desparate for them, showcasing their need to lie and twist everything to make their god palatable to freedom-loving humans. The text plainly says "fear" and the spirit of both the OT and the NT are about living in fear and believing our of fear, or else you'll suffer in this world and/or in Hell™.

 

Jeezus™ has his spiritual gulag of Hell™ ready to inter all the undesirables and punish them in an eternal holocaust if we don't give him all our loyalty and love. Might as well just raise the hammer and sickle and be honest about what Xianity really is - religious totalitarianism.

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I loved the annalogy of with the dogs. I have yet another one. My best friend was the most alcoholic person I have ever known. He would steal from his mother, threaten her, and often just make her life a living Hell, yet when he lay dying at age 36 from the cumulative effects of his lifestyle, the unconditional love of his mother came shining through. Despite the fact that my friend was often times far from the model son, his mother was devatstated. She loved her child with all her heart, and wanted nothing but the best for him. She did not wish any form of punishment on her child despite the hell he put her though. Why would a God who loves us unconditionally be any differert than my friends mother?

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I loved the annalogy of with the dogs. I have yet another one. My best friend was the most alcoholic person I have ever known. He would steal from his mother, threaten her, and often just make her life a living Hell, yet when he lay dying at age 36 from the cumulative effects of his lifestyle, the unconditional love of his mother came shining through. Despite the fact that my friend was often times far from the model son, his mother was devatstated. She loved her child with all her heart, and wanted nothing but the best for him. She did not wish any form of punishment on her child despite the hell he put her though. Why would a God who loves us unconditionally be any differert than my friends mother?

 

Beautiful analogy. I can't reconcile the idea that god has conditions for his love. The world just couldn't run with a god like that. Even if god did have conditions, then wouldn't a god that loves us rather find a way to help us change our behaviour for the better rather than just throw us away like a broken toy?

 

I hate that the christians try to pass off their god as a god of love and it clearly isn't. Why not just call a spade a spade? Their god is conditional and frightening. Reward comes to those who follow the rules and the rest will burn. It's pretty simple. Don't try to candycoat it.

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Not to stand up for Christians or anything, but people very often think of "fearing" god as being afraid of him. That's not the intended meaning of the word fear in these phrases. Here are the definitions of the verb "fear" from Merriam-Webster's Online unabridged dictionary:

 

Main Entry: 2fear Pronunciation Guide

Pronunciation: "

Function: verb

Inflected Form(s): -ed/-ing/-s

Etymology: Middle English feren, from Old English f[AE]ran, from f[AE]r sudden danger -- more at 1FEAR

transitive verb

1 now dialect a : FRIGHTEN, TERRIFY <be careful not to fear the horse by shouting> b : to scare away <fear the crows out of the corn>

2 obsolete : DETER

3 archaic : to feel fear in (oneself) <I fear me he is slain -- Christopher Marlowe>

4 a : to have a reverential awe of <fear God> b : to stand in awe of <fear anyone in authority>

5 a : to be afraid of : consider, expect, or anticipate with feelings of alarm, foreboding, or solicitude <most men fear death> <fear the unexpected and unknown> <fear evil and misfortune> b : to hesitate (to do something) for fear of doing wrong or causing unhappiness <fear to disturb someone's thoughts> c : to suspect or conclude regretfully <I fear I have made too many mistakes>

intransitive verb : to be apprehensive : be afraid <I fear lest we commit an inexcusable blunder> <if the night seems cold, you need not fear if the house is well heated>

- fear·er noun

 

Number 4 is the correct definition of "fear" for use in the phrase "fear God". Of course, it doesn't make that much of a difference. I am not afraid of him any more (most of the time) and I definitely do not fear him by giving him reverential awe. How can you be in awe of something which has done absolutely nothing to put you in that state? I am not amazed. Sorry god.

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Psalm 52:5-6 (New International Version)

God will bring you down to everlasting ruin: He will snatch you up and tear you from your tent; he will uproot you from the land of the living. The righteous will see and FEAR.

 

Sounds like mortal terror to me.

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When I was brainwashed, I learned that the fear of God is likened to being in awe of God. So I figured it made sense that way.

 

Jeez, that doctrine is so anal.

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great analogy about the dogs. and I realized when you wrote that: some of my favorite and most memorable moments with my dogs are when they did no-no's. 10 years ago my old Am Bulldog drug my mother through the park with her holding on to his leash. We still have a good laugh about it to this day.

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Psalm 52:5-6 (New International Version)

God will bring you down to everlasting ruin: He will snatch you up and tear you from your tent; he will uproot you from the land of the living. The righteous will see and FEAR.

 

Sounds like mortal terror to me.

 

Touche'!

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